We actually don’t charge for downloading 3D models, but I understand your confusion because our pricing page is a bit outdated. You can see an example of many free 3D models, including this one. We have very few legacy paid 3D models (less than 0.1% of our database) but we’ve been phasing them out with newly made free 3D models.
Is the API documented somewhere at your end? I am curious about exploring the technical side of it a bit further.
Never said You do, or would!
Exeperience simply proves, and unfortunately, keeps proving that things do leak. This is most likely out of even your control. By all accounts you probably mean well.
I’ll pitch in with regards to “spam”. I’ve noticed that the free software community is particularly hostile to any mention of anything that is for-profit in any way. A post mentioning a commercial solution gets called “spam” immediately.
As an independent software maker (and yes, I do need to make a profit, to earn a living, so I do not give away all of my software, even though I do provide free usage to hackers/makers), I’d like to pitch in with several thoughts on the matter:
If we’re actively hostile towards anything that is even remotely “commercial” and prohibit/remove all postings of this kind, we will never learn about new solutions out there. It’s like staying in the dark. And unless we expect to get our scopes for free and our PCBs manufactured for free, “commercial” is here to stay.
A posting about a commercial product from time to time does not hurt anyone and should not be seen as “spam” unless there are too many of them. I haven’t seen any blatant advertising in these forums so far.
From the point of view of an independent entrepreneur, it is extremely difficult to reach people these days. People post in forums not because they want to save on ads, it’s because ads simply do not work in the tech world. The #1 problem of every entrepreneur out there is how to let people know that their solution exists.
My main point is, I believe we should keep a healthy balanced approach.
Some points I would have made had I not hoped to just let the thread die.
Bottom line, in most cases people no longer make their own boards. They send them off to be manufactured. Even the home hobbyist. We need a ‘healthy’ dialog with the next step people as this helps keep Kicad and its users in sync with that next step.
I’m going to agree with @jwr here.
The forum might benefit from a “commercial” category where such things might be posted. I, for one, would like to learn about for-sale services/products that fit into the KiCad ecosystem. I tend to put money into those companies that support open source products and the larger the ecosystem, the better for everyone (even if you don’t use the specific company).
I have used Snap in the past, but for 3D models not symbols and footprints. I don’t trust other suppliers easily for footprints and symbols but I’ve not the skills or time to deal with 3D models and they make a good double check on the footprint, if the model doesn’t match the footprint then at least one of them is wrong.
Having said that, only a few models are available from Snap (and others) that aren’t available from the suppliers and KiCad has the basic standard packages covered already.
Usually the only major problem I run into is I always need to rotate their 3-D models to the correct orientation. Otherwise, generally their models have been pretty good for me.
3D models are a different thing. Footprints need some editing to fit my needs. To be clear, I don’t remember seeing outright erroneous footprints there. But pads may need fine tuning (like in the official KiCad library!) and a non-copper layer may be wrong layer for some feature or they may have unnecessary items or lack something.
I think it would be great for KiCad ecosystem suppliers to get a voice. As @hermit says, they need to be upfront, this is best in a separate category Commercial users can subscribe to at will.
PS.: I’m biased towards KiCad ecosystem because I’m a co-founder of a company serving the community. Yet, I sincerely believe we deserve to be heard and ask for feedback, so please allow us to. We also (and I believe I’m speaking for @NatashaABaker as well) give back to the community by donating our developer’s time and/or money to the project. It’s important for us to get feedback, to know where we should improve.